Givan Ranch, Eagle Point
- Publication date
- Eagle Point (Or.), Jackson County (Or.), Givan Charley L (1891-1986), Elks (Fraternal Order) -- Medford Elks Lodge No. 1168 (Medford Or.), Stories of Southern Oregon, Oregon -- Eagle Point
James Guenther tells of his early memories running wild on the old Elks picnic ground along the Rogue River and that's how he came to know Charley Givan.
Charley Givan and his sister Ruth Kneass were the last of their line to live on the historic Givan Ranch property along the Rogue River not too far out from the City of Eagle Point, Oregon. Today, most of the property is owned by Jackson County and is undeveloped, bought in part with Land and Water Conservation Fund money in 1972. Former county parks officer, Neil Ledward negotiated the purchase with a handshake agreement that the land would not be subdivided. Mark Freeman reported on the property in 2011 and 2012 for the Mail Tribune.
It was Charley's grandfather Lindsey Givan who re-settled the land in about 1879 during the period of western migration. Lindsey's son, George Anderson Givan sold about 12 acres along the Rogue River to the Medford Elks Lodge #1168 in 1911, and by 1912, the Mail Tribune noted that the Elks planned more than $5000 of improvements to include a dancing pavilion camping cottages, a pool, water system and electric lights, most of which never came about.
Jim Guenther's father was caretaker of the Elks picnic grounds, and while his father worked, Jim would fish and talk with Charley. Jim recalls that the Medford Elks had stag nights out at the picnic grounds and one time Jim and a buddy floated in and got a real eyeful. The next day the boys found a case of booze and hid it in the river, but a storm came up and washed the booze away never to be found again. The Elks picnic ground passed into private hands in 2009.
George Anderson Givan deeded the ranch to his three sons, Charley, Thomas and Dewey in 1954. George died on April 19, 1957, survived by his wife Catharine and later sons Thomas and Dewey passed as well leaving Charley to work the ranch. Charley died on May 15, 1986 at the age of 95 and his sister Ruth died on December 30, 1990, age 93.
Kay Atwood documented the Givan Ranch in the early 1970s and her work, including photographs, oral histories, maps and surveys are in the University Archives and Special Collections at Southern Oregon University.
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- This work was digitized with the permission of the author, James Guenther, for the City of Eagle Point thanks in part to the Jackson County Cultural Trust and the Oregon Division of the Association for College and Research Libraries. Jackson County Property Online maps were edited for historical Givens Ranch acreage based on county maps circa 1972.
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